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Posts Tagged ‘DEA’

Federal authorities cash in on safety box seizures as owners fight back

Posted by M. C. on September 29, 2021

The problem is that federal authorities took the items from people who hadn’t been accused of a crime, including Pearsons and Store.

They’ve been able to keep it because of the country’s vague standards of civil forfeiture law, which allows the government to seize property and assets without any actual evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

FBI and DEA justifying their existence.

https://news.yahoo.com/federal-authorities-cash-safety-box-110000293.html#click=https://t.co/AM7d4abJQi

Barnini Chakraborty

Married couple Jeni Pearsons and Michael Store aren’t wealthy.

Pearsons works at a nonprofit theater in Los Angeles, and Store is a transportation coordinator in the film industry. The couple has been saving for retirement for years, buying silver here and there when they could afford it. To keep their property safe, they rented a safe deposit box at U.S. Private Vaults.

They thought everything was above board until news broke earlier this year about a raid at the Beverly Hills business.

The government alleged that the company conspired with customers to sell drugs, launder money, and stash ill-gotten goods.

LA COUNTY ABUSES ASSET FORFEITURE, SEIZING MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF MONEY WITHOUT DUE PROCESS

Armed with a warrant, FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration agents spent five days ripping several hundred safety deposit boxes out of the walls and laying claim to its contents.

Prosecutors argued they were within their rights and that the boxes contained weapons and drugs. They also took jewelry, precious metals, and stacks of money to an undisclosed warehouse. Their final haul was worth around $86 million.

The problem is that federal authorities took the items from people who hadn’t been accused of a crime, including Pearsons and Store.

They’ve been able to keep it because of the country’s vague standards of civil forfeiture law, which allows the government to seize property and assets without any actual evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

During the raid, the authorities also seized Joseph Ruiz’s life savings.

See the rest here

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Should a Christian Work for the DEA? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 16, 2021

It is even worse than being a TSA, CIA, or FBI agent.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/06/laurence-m-vance/should-a-christian-work-for-the-dea/

By Laurence M. Vance

I don’t know him personally, but a young man who is professes to be a Christian has accepted a job with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The question before us is a simple one: Should a Christian work for the DEA?

What, exactly, is the DEA? According to the agency’s website:

The DEA was established in 1973 as the federal organization in charge of enforcing the controlled substances laws of the United States. Today thousands of DEA employees located in hundreds of offices across the country and around the world are dedicated to fulfilling DEA’s mission and to continuing our Tradition of Excellence. We are experts in drug enforcement: Special Agents, Diversion Investigators, Forensic Scientists, Intelligence Research Specialists and highly trained support staff and we work together as one team to keep Americans safe from dangerous drugs and those that traffic in them.

Is this an agency that a Christian should work for?

And just what is the mission of the DEA? It includes:

  • Regulating the manufacture and distribution of controlled pharmaceuticals (such as scheduled prescription drugs) and listed chemicals through DEA’s Diversion Control Division.
  • Providing and coordinating for DEA and other enforcement organizations the collection, analysis and dissemination of world class drug-related intelligence through DEA’s Intelligence Division.
  • Analyzing evidence and providing science-based research that supports drug-related investigations and the U.S. criminal justice system at-large through DEA’s Office of Forensic Sciences. This includes chemical analysis of suspected controlled substances, but also encompasses other areas such as digital evidence analysis, crime scene investigations and the disposal of hazardous chemical waste.
  • Support for drug demand reduction and prevention programs through educational and other campaigns and initiatives including the Red Ribbon Campaign, National Takeback Days and Operation Engage.

Is this a mission that a Christian should embrace?

The DEA, which is part of the U.S. Justice Department, has “239 Domestic Offices in 23 Divisions throughout the U.S., and 91 Foreign Offices in 68 countries.” It also has an aviation division with about 135 pilots and 100 aircraft. The DEA maintains its own academy on the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, Virginia, along with the FBI Academy. The training is rigorous.

Should a Christian go there for training?

Working for the DEA is one of the worst possible things that a Christian could do. I have written volumes about why Christians should not join the military, including being a chaplain. I have also cautioned Christians about becoming cops. Yet, I would be the first to admit that soldiers and cops have some legitimate functions.

But the DEA should not exist. The agency should immediately be eliminated, all of its assets sold, and all of its employees fired. One hundred percent of what the DEA does is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and pure evil.

The federal government’s war on drugs is a monstrous evil that has ruined more lives than drugs themselves. It is a war on personal freedom, private property, the Constitution, federalism, personal responsibility, individual liberty, personal and financial privacy, civil liberties, the free market, and freedom itself.

The DEA is the main federal agency responsible for the drug war. Because it exists solely for nefarious purposes, it is the number one agency of the federal government that no decent American—and especially Christians—should ever work for. It is even worse than being a TSA, CIA, or FBI agent. DEA agents deserve nothing but scorn and contempt.

Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom; War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism; War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy; King James, His Bible, and Its Translators, and many other books. His newest books are Free Trade or Protectionism? and The Free Society.

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Guatemala: The Human Rights Nightmare That Is the US Drug War | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 9, 2021

Guatemala was a struggling Third World nation striving to overcome decades of genocide and civil strife. Unfortunately, it was also increasingly victimized by chemical warfare. To blight any suspected marijuana or poppy plants, the US government was dousing broad swaths of Guatemala with toxins to preemptively destroy anything growing below. The year before I visited, a group of Guatemalan beekeepers sued the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), claiming that the spraying had destroyed half of their industry. Herbicides had contaminated local drinking water and many residents had required hospitalization after exposure to the chemicals.

https://mises.org/wire/guatemala-human-rights-nightmare-us-drug-war

James Bovard

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Guatemala earlier this week to bestow millions of dollars in new foreign aid on that government. The Biden administration is pretending that giving more US tax dollars to Central American governments will miraculously reduce the surge of illegal immigrants that Biden’s appointees are welcoming in Arizona, Texas, and elsewhere. The purpose of Harris’s trip and the new handouts is not to solve that problem but simply to make the Biden administration appear to give a damn about the issue.

In her official statements during the visit, Harris included no admission of how the US drug war has been a pox on Guatemala. Her silence was no surprise considering Joe Biden’s nearly half century of fanaticism for that pointless crusade.

I learned about the wreckage of US drug policies when I visited Guatemala in 1992. I had been writing articles bashing drug prohibition for almost a decade at that point. But before that trip, I had only vague notions of the ravages being inflicted on hapless foreigners.

I went to Guatemala to give a couple speeches on the follies of protectionist trade policy, spurred by the publication the previous year of my book The Fair Trade Fraud (St. Martin’s Press). I was hosted by the president of Francisco Marroquín University, Manuel Ayau, a genial yet fearless fighter for free markets. I didn’t realize until I arrived that Ayau had recently been the presidential candidate of the “party of organized violence” and was on several left-wing “death lists.” Guatemala had shortages of almost everything except political assassinations. Ayau, a compact dynamo, was hepped up because he’d just gotten a laser sighting attachment for his Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry caliber .44 Magnum. As his chauffeur-bodyguard drove us around the capital city, Ayau trained that red dot on all sorts of targets. I was happy I was sitting behind him.

Guatemala was a struggling Third World nation striving to overcome decades of genocide and civil strife. Unfortunately, it was also increasingly victimized by chemical warfare. To blight any suspected marijuana or poppy plants, the US government was dousing broad swaths of Guatemala with toxins to preemptively destroy anything growing below. The year before I visited, a group of Guatemalan beekeepers sued the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), claiming that the spraying had destroyed half of their industry. Herbicides had contaminated local drinking water and many residents had required hospitalization after exposure to the chemicals. A Guatemalan human rights commission asserted that the spraying had destroyed so many farmers’ corn and bean crops that serious food shortages could result.

US policymakers presumed that the solution was to further militarize the drug war. After farmers began shooting at the planes, the US government sent in Black Hawk helicopter gunships to accompany the crop dusters and suppress peasant revolts. I called the US embassy to ask about the controversy and was told that the complaints came from “illiterate Indians” and were nothing but “drug war disinformation.”

Outside of Guatemala City, I met farmers and small businessmen and pumped them for information on the US drug war. A manager of a large farm in central Guatemala told me that many of his shipments of yucca cane to Europe were rejected because they arrived in Rotterdam and were rotting as a result of DEA’s drug spraying. Another farmer bewailed how his harvests exported to the United States were routinely destroyed during Customs Service searches for illicit drugs (he never received compensation even though no drugs were found). A Guatemalan banker told me that the DEA was involved in shooting down or forcing crash landings of small planes suspected of carrying drugs. A prominent Guatemalan politician told me, “If you criticize the Drug Enforcement Agency, you might lose your visa” and be banned from visiting the US. Guatemalans were outraged when the US ambassador revoked the visa of a Guatemalan judge who refused to vigorously prosecute an alleged drug smuggler.

After I returned to Washington, I hounded drug policy activists, human rights groups, and environmentalists to learn more about the US drug war run amok south of the border. A Peace Corps volunteer who had spent eighteen months working with Guatemalan farmers told me that the pilots were spraying much more toxic concentrations than the US embassy admitted. No wonder crops were dying.

See the rest here

Author:

James Bovard

James Bovard is the author of ten books, including 2012’s Public Policy Hooligan, and 2006’s Attention Deficit Democracy. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and many other publications.

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How Make Your Vote Count – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 13, 2020

Do Not Consent

Voting in the state’s elections continues the racket.  And it will continue.  Your vote would consent to it.   Don’t do it.   Would you vote for new leaders in the Mafia or Ku Klux Klan while believing that doing so will encourage those organizations to play nice?

Don’t let the enemies of freedom get away with equating the state with government.  Government can and should exist without the state.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/06/george-f-smith/how-to-make-your-vote-count/

…The message I’m delivering is pro-government-in-the-market sense only, anti-state.

To sum up, my advice is:

Do not consent to the coercive agencies that are currently installed at all levels of our current system of government, from federal to local.  At the federal level they include the usual enemies such as the DEA, NSA, IRS, and the Federal Reserve.

Do not consent to what’s called taxation, to the right of some people to confiscate your wealth, however great or modest your wealth may be.

Do not consent to the current institutions that thrive on “wars” of all kinds, whether it’s a war on a bug, a drug, or an unfortunate condition of human existence, most of which the state created and intensify the problems they’re alleged to fix, that are done in your name and with your expropriated money.

Do not consent to the vast military – industrial – congressional – media – educational complex that claims to be a defender of your liberty as it murders families overseas and destroys their society’s infrastructures — again, with your expropriated wealth.

Do not consent to the idea that you need to surrender your right to self-defense, including defense against the state.

Do not consent to the criminal invasions of your privacy that the state has made legal.

Do not consent to the state’s educational system as it attempts to train obedient servants of the state while continually dumbing-down the requirements for advancement.

Do not consent to any government that claims the right to enlist your sons or daughters in a war or project against their will.

Do not consent to the state’s war on market giants that achieved their status because consumers voluntarily traded their money for the products or services the businesses offered.  Remember, consumers can and have shut down market giants by taking their business elsewhere.

Do not consent to the practice of state – business “partnerships” that create unfair competitive advantages for the business or industry, while cheating consumers with higher prices and/or inferior products or services — a practice best described as crony capitalism but which for anti-market purposes is usually called capitalism.

Do not consent to any state institution that attempts to dictate how we should live, what we can or cannot consume, read, watch, say, or listen to.

Do not consent to any government that does not secure your property rights, including your right to life.

Voting in the state’s elections continues the racket.  And it will continue.  Your vote would consent to it.   Don’t do it.   Would you vote for new leaders in the Mafia or Ku Klux Klan while believing that doing so will encourage those organizations to play nice?

Don’t let the enemies of freedom get away with equating the state with government.  Government can and should exist without the state.

In this book I’m speaking to adults who wish to take full responsibility for their lives, regardless of their age, medical condition, race, sex, or anything else, who are fighters not wimps, who want to lay the foundation for a better life not just for themselves but for their families and the generations to come, who want to end the acrimonious fighting over the levers of power that would force the winner’s agenda on the rest of us.  If you are in agreement then express your conviction with a thumbs-up to the movie Do Not Consent, coming in late Julyon my YouTube channel, GFS543.

In the meantime, I hope this book will convey the message the movie will dramatize.

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The Solutions To Police Brutality Politicians Aren’t Giving You | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 6, 2020

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-solutions-to-police-brutality-politicians-arent-giving-you/

by

Since the George Floyd protests began last week, they have since morphed into a much broader movement which is now exposing a problem this country has suffered from for a long time. The system of law enforcement in this country has morphed into a militarized standing army, preying on the poor, and rife with corruption. Naturally, people are pissed.

As we have stated from the beginning of the riots, this reaction was inevitable. Minorities and the poor have been pushed into a corner and ignored as the state preyed on them through a system of extortion and violence. One can only be ignored for so long before they eventually lash out.

Remember when football players were peacefully protesting by taking a knee, and the country—including the Commander in Chief—collectively lost their minds telling them to shut up and sit down? Trump even called for them to be fired for this. Now, because these folks were ignored and told to shut up during their peaceful protests, the inevitable non-peaceful protests have begun.

For decades there has been a perfect storm brewing in this country as minorities and poor people have their doors kicked in and are terrorized by cops during botched raids for substances deemed illegal by the state and watch helplessly as their family members die in video after video at the hands of cops. Now, we have record unemployment, lockdowns, cops murdering people on video and facing no immediate charges, and those in charge sit at the top and point fingers.

Because the system will always refuse to accept responsibility for the situation it has forced onto the people, the blame game always comes next. Instead of realizing the error of their ways, government is now blaming the riots on Antifa, White Nationalists, the Alt-right, “thugs,” and any other scapegoat they can find to blame besides taking responsibility. They are even blaming Russia now. You cannot make this up.

Naturally, this will never lead to any positive change. It will only prolong suffering, create more divide, and perpetuate a system of injustice for decades to come. Those who want to incite peaceful change, however, have been pushing these ideas out for a long time. Now, people may finally listen.

To lower the likelihood of future chaos, America’s system of law enforcement needs radical change. Instead of threatening to execute suspected looters with no due process—the discussion we should be having right now is how to fix this broken system. It is not difficult, it is based in logic and reason, and its effects would be significantly felt almost overnight.

Over the years, TFTP has been proposing these solutions and below we have compiled a list of five main actions that could affect this much needed change, right now.

The first and most significant solution to this pain and suffering would be to end the war on drugs—today. Legalize every substance out there.

Richard Nixon, in his effort to silence black people and antiwar activists, brought the War on Drugs into full force in 1973. He then signed Reorganization Plan No. 2, which established the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Over the course of five decades, this senseless war has waged on. At a cost of over $1 trillion—ruining and ending countless lives in the process—America’s drug war failed, miserably, and has created a drug problem that is worse now than ever before.

This is no coincidence.

For years, those of us who’ve been paying attention have seen who profits from this inhumane war—the police state and cartels.

The reason why the drug war actually creates a drug and violence problem is simple. And those who profit most from the drug war—drug war enforcers and cartels—all know it. When the government makes certain substances illegal, it does not remove the demand. Instead, the state creates crime by pushing the sale and control of these substances into the illegal black markets. All the while, demand remains constant.

We can look at the prohibition of alcohol and the subsequent mafia crime wave that ensued as a result as an example. The year 1930, at the peak of prohibition, happened to be the deadliest year for police in American history. 300 police officers were killed, and innumerable poor people slaughtered as the state cracked down on drinkers.

Outlawing substances does not work.

Criminal gangs form to protect sales territory and supply lines. They then monopolize the control of the constant demand. Their entire operation is dependent upon police arresting people for drugs because this grants them a monopoly on their sale.

It is incredibly racist too. The illegality of drug possession and use is what keeps the low-level users and dealers in and out of the court systems, and most of these people are poor black men. As Dr. Ron Paul has pointed out, black people are more likely to receive a harsher punishment for the same drug crime as a white person.

This revolving door of creating and processing criminals fosters the phenomenon known as Recidivism. Recidivism is a fundamental concept of criminal justice that shows the tendency of those who are processed into the system and the likelihood of future criminal behavior.

The War on Drugs takes good people and turns them into criminals every single minute of every single day. The system is set up in such a way that it fans the flames of violent crime by essentially building a factory that turns out violent criminals.

It also creates unnecessary police interactions—disproportionately carried out on black people—which leads to resentment, harassment, civil rights violations, and even death. When drugs are legal, there are far fewer doors to kick in, fines to collect, profit prisons to fill, and money to steal.

Secondly, we need to end qualified immunity for police. Read the rest of this entry »

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Joint Law Enforcement Task Forces are Creating a National Police State

Posted by M. C. on April 26, 2020

This jurisdictional neverland also allows members of these task forces to escape accountability or punishment when they use excessive force, destroy property, or simply engage in sloppy police work. Balko’s article chronicles the story of a man who was beaten senseless after undercover members of a joint task force mistook him for a wanted individual. The state and federal law enforcement officers both dodged prosecution by playing ping-pong with state and federal jurisdictions.

Ironically, the Obama administration couldn’t even conduct a cost-benefit study on joint police task forces because records were almost nonexistent.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/joint-law-enforcement-task-forces-are-creating-a-national-police-state/

by

Through the proliferation of joint law enforcement task forces, the federal government is creating a national police force that operates in a legal twilight zone with little or no oversight.

Law enforcement officers from various state, local and federal law enforcement agencies make up these joint task forces. The concept evolved out of the unconstitutional “War on Drugs” launched by President Richard Nixon. The first multi-jurisdictional task forces were put together in the 1970s.

Dan Baum chronicled the evolution of these multi-jurisdictional police forces in his book, Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure. Radley Balko summarized Baum’s description of the origins of these task forces in a Washington Post article writing, “Nixon wanted ‘strike forces’ that could kick down doors and put the fear of God into drug offenders without burdensome hurdles like the Fourth Amendment or the separation of powers.”

Initially, many local law enforcement agencies weren’t interested in getting in bed with federal cops and were wary of the aggressive tactics employed by the joint task forces. But the feds used federal grants and asset forfeiture money to bribe reticent departments and incentivize participation. The number of joint task forces grew exponentially in the 1980s and 1990s. The deployment of these task forces also expended beyond the “war on drugs.”

Today, you will find hundreds of joint state-federal task forces across the U.S. Just consider this list of task forces in the Pittsburgh area alone.

  • Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC)
  • Crimes Against Children Task Force
  • FBI Opioid Task Force
  • Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force
  • J-CODE (Joint Criminal Opioid DarkNet Enforcement Team)
  • Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit
  • Pittsburgh Financial Crimes and Electronics Task Force
  • Western Pennsylvania Fugitive Task Force
  • Western Pennsylvania Violent Crimes Task Force

As of 2016, the DEA oversaw or participated in 271 anti-drug task forces across the U.S. Through a program called Project Safe Neighborhood, the Department of Justice ran another 86 taskforces as of 2018. The FBI administers 160 violent gang task forces.

The U.S. Marshalls run 60 Fugitive Task Forces. The ATF oversees the National Explosives Task Force and forms task forces for specific investigations. According to Balko, the U.S. Attorney General runs 18 task forces through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program. And then there are the countless temporary joint task forces created every year for special investigations and law enforcement initiatives.

Due to their nature, joint task forces operate in a legal twilight zone that gives them wide latitude. As Balko explained, they often go about their business with little or no oversight. Often, it’s impossible to identify any local officials overseeing their work. And even when somebody is technically in charge of the task force, they often give it free rein.

With little oversight, they have a record of overstepping and misdeeds, from excessive force to shootings, to mistaken raids, to straight-up corruption.”

This jurisdictional neverland also allows members of these task forces to escape accountability or punishment when they use excessive force, destroy property, or simply engage in sloppy police work. Balko’s article chronicles the story of a man who was beaten senseless after undercover members of a joint task force mistook him for a wanted individual. The state and federal law enforcement officers both dodged prosecution by playing ping-pong with state and federal jurisdictions. As Balko illustrates, In practice, joint task forces can “pick whichever laws — state or federal — afforded them the most power and the least accountability.”

Ironically, the Obama administration couldn’t even conduct a cost-benefit study on joint police task forces because records were almost nonexistent. According to those conducting the study, “Not only were data insufficient to estimate what task forces accomplished, data were inadequate to even tell what the task forces did as routine work.”

There are other pernicious consequences resulting from the rise of joint police task forces.

Local police can circumvent strict state asset forfeiture laws by claiming cases are federal in nature due to the participation in a joint task force. Under these arrangements, state officials simply hand cases over to a federal agency, participate in the case, and then receive up to 80 percent of the proceeds.

And the money and power that comes when local cops partner up with the feds incentives local police to focus on “national” priorities such as the war on drugs, federal gun control and “anti-terrorism” efforts instead of prioritizing more routine local policing such as murder, rape and property crime.

We also see the influence of these task forces in the state legislative process. Police lobbyists often oppose warrant requirements, limits on state and local cooperation with federal surveillance, prohibitions on the state enforcement of unconstitutional federal gun control, asset forfeiture reform, and other laws blocking state enforcement of unconstitutional federal laws because they don’t want to jeopardize “our federal partnerships.” In other words, their relationships with their “federal partners” trumps the Constitution.

The federal government was never intended to exercise “police powers” in the first place. The Constitution only defines four federal crimes – treason, piracies and felonies committed on the high Seas, counterfeiting, and crimes against the law of nations. The federal government also has criminal jurisdiction within Washington D.C. and its other enclaves.

The creation of every other federal crime violates the Constitution.

In other words, virtually the entire federal law enforcement apparatus is unconstitutional.

Nevertheless, the federal government is developing a national police force that operates outside of any jurisdictional, legal or constitutional boundaries. Joint task forces are a threat to liberty. States should simply withdraw.

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Trump and Libertarians – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/10/laurence-m-vance/libertarians-and-trump/

By

I have never been a member of the Libertarian Party. I don’t vote, so I’ve never voted for the Libertarian Party candidate in any presidential election. If I did vote, I would have probably clamped my nose in a vice and voted for Donald Trump before I would have voted for the pathetic 2016 Libertarian Party ticket of Gary Johnson and William Weld.

I don’t believe anything—no matter how good it sounds—that comes out of the mouth of any politician, and especially those who run for president. I don’t even get excited if they say “zero tariffs, zero subsidies, zero non-tariff barriers” because they will say whatever they think people want to hear if they think it will increase their chances of getting elected.

Donald Trump is no exception. I was never part of the “Libertarians for Trump” movement (but neither am I a member of the “never Trumpers”). I took every “good” thing Trump said during his presidential campaign with a truckload of salt. Now that Trump has been in office for over half of his term, I think it should be clear that Trump has been a disaster for liberty and limited government…

It is a myth that Trump has cut the number of federal employees. The federal leviathan is as big, as powerful, and as intrusive as ever. Have any federal assets been sold?…

Although Trump talked about reducing the national debt during his presidential campaign, that debt now exceeds $22 trillion and is expected to reach $23 trillion by the end of 2019. By the end of Trump’s first term, he will have added over $5 trillion to the national debt…

Trump is said to have cut federal regulations. To give credit where credit is due, I believe he has rescinded some of President Obama’s regulations. But what major federal regulations has Trump cut? No one ever lists them. The federal government still regulates every facet of American life from the amount of water that toilets are allowed to flush to the size of holes in Swiss cheese.

Trump’s tax cut “is also undoubtedly the smallest, not the biggest, individual tax cut in history,” according to David Stockman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (1981–1985) under President Ronald Reagan. And don’t forget that Trump’s individual tax cuts are only temporary. Trump should be praised, however, for getting the corporate tax rate permanently cut. But not, of course, for increasing refundable tax credits, a form of welfare.

Americans still live in a virtual police state. If you have any doubt, then just see the many articles on this by John Whitehead that regularly appear on this website.

The federal war on drugs continues unabated. Has the budget of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) been cut? Have any of its employees been laid off? True, Trump commuted the life sentence of drug trafficker Alice Johnson. But over 2,000 federal prisoners are serving life sentences for nonviolent drug crimes…

Trump has been absolutely horrible on foreign policy. U.S. soldiers are still dying in Afghanistan. U.S. troops still occupy hundreds of foreign military bases and are still stationed in over 150 countries. The United States has never been closer to war with Iran. Trump has brought home from North Korea the bodies of some dead U.S. soldiers, but not one living U.S. soldier has been brought home from some country where he has no business being…

Trump’s trade policies have been an absolute disaster for the economy. Trump is an ignorant protectionist and economic nationalist, through and through…

The United States may now be the world’s top oil producer, but it hasn’t resulted in something far more important—U.S. disengagement from the Middle East…

Crumbs indeed are what we are getting from Donald Trump as far as liberty and limited government are concerned. Trump may be “better” than Hillary, Obama, and Bush, but not by enough to cheer him.

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A History of Asset Forfeiture | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 1, 2019

Get pulled over with what some armed government employee considers too much cash and you can say good bye.

Legalized theft just like taxes only you don’t have to fill out a form, except NO refunds.

https://mises.org/wire/history-asset-forfeiture

In 1991, Maui police officers showed up at the home of Frances and Joseph Lopes. One officer showed his badge and said, “Let’s go into the house, and we will explain things to you.” Once he was inside, the explanation was simple: “We’re taking the house.”

The Lopses were far from wealthy. They worked on a sugar plantation for nearly fifty years, living in camp housing, to save up enough money to buy a modest, middle-class home. But in 1987, their son Thomas was caught with marijuana. He was twenty-eight, and he suffered from mental health issues. He grew the marijuana in the backyard of his parents’ home, but every time they tried to cut it down, Thomas threatened suicide. When he was arrested, he pled guilty, was given probation since it was his first offense, and he was ordered to see a psychologist once a week. Frances and Joseph were elated. Their son got better, he stopped smoking marijuana, and the episode was behind them.

But when the police showed up and told them that their house was being seized, they learned that the episode was not behind them. That statute of limitations for civil asset forfeiture was five years. It had only been four. Legally, the police could seize any property connected to the marijuana plant from 1987. They had resurrected the Lopes case during a department-wide search through old cases looking for property they could legally confiscate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Name One Government Agency that Doesn’t Do the Exact Opposite of its Purpose | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on December 10, 2018

Without an EPA, people would depend on a marketplace of organizations for information about products like Monsanto’s. And even if these organizations didn’t have the power to ban the chemicals, they could inform the market and hit Monsanto where it hurts, the wallet.

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/name-one-government-agency-that-doesnt-do-the-exact-opposite-of-its-purpose/

By Joe Jarvis

A DEA agent is accused of facilitating drug trafficking in the regions he oversaw in Florida and Arkansas. He allegedly traded inside information to drug runners in exchange for cash.

Drugs are illegal. But you can still run drugs with the right person being paid off. And you can do it for very little money–this agent got around $62,000 from one dealer for his role.

That is enough money to easily corrupt an individual, but a small price to pay compared to how much a drug dealer can make. Especially when you have the DEA looking the other way and giving you a heads up before raids.

But this isn’t surprising. We have heard the same story a thousand times before. This is how the government operates.

Monsanto is one of the worst environmental offenders, besides the government itself. Their flagship product Roundup is blamed for mass die-offs of honey bees and has been linked to cancer.

Monsanto got its start making chemicals for the military and later moved into pesticides. But their crony-relationship remained. Read the rest of this entry »

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Civil Forfeiture Video: A Huge Money Tree for Cops

Posted by M. C. on September 16, 2018

Civil forfeiture in the United States, also called civil asset forfeiture or civil judicial forfeiture[1] or occasionally civil seizure, is a legal process in which law enforcement officers take assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. While civil procedure, as opposed to criminal procedure, generally involves a dispute between two private citizens, civil forfeiture involves a dispute between law enforcement and property such as a pile of cash or a house or a boat, such that the thing is suspected of being involved in a crime. To get back the seized property, owners must prove it was not involved in criminal activity.

Guilty until proven innocent. Proving innocence is extremely difficult and cops know that.

Don’t hear much about this widespread abuse in the media.

https://www.garynorth.com/public/18567.cfm

Gary North

This video explains it. Your property (unlike you) is guilty until proven innocent — at your expense.

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